Contractor Crosses Washita River with a New “Horse”

In mid-2011, McElroy equipment helped the City of Ardmore, Oklahoma install a 36-inch DIPS SDR 11 pipeline under the Washita River. Using directional drilling, the new water main was installed to replace a concrete main that had been washed away by the constant erosion forces of the river passing over the exposed pipe.

Ardmore lies equidistant between Dallas, Texas and Oklahoma City. Home to approximately 24,000, the city relies on several reservoirs, a series of pump stations and three different water mains that cross the Washita River to bring water to the city. With additional stress added to the two other water mains, it was an easy decision to replace the washed out concrete main.

The City of Ardmore’s utilities department turned to Oklahoma companies B & H Construction of Goldsby and PolyPro of Pryor to complete the pipeline and butt fusion operations for the 1,600-foot main.

B & H Construction mobilized to a cow pasture just south of the Washita River in early April of this year. Having prepared for a traditional installation, B & H laid the pipe out with the anticipation of moving PolyPro’s MegaMc® 1648 fusion machine to and from each pipe length’s end. While this is how many jobsites are laid out, in some cases there is a more productive way.

Time is money. If you can cut down on your time in the field, you’re helping everyone out.

Tom Cravens

Tom Cravens, owner of PolyPro, knew the more productive answer.

“Productivity tools are a great asset,” said Cravens. “Time is money. If you can cut down on your time in the field, you’re helping everyone out. We’re able to use (the tools) to cut our fusion costs and pass that savings on to the customers.”

Cravens suggested to B & H that they use a prototype MegaMc® PolyHorse®. The MegaMc PolyHorse is a series of racks attached to powered pipe stands that allow a contractor to stage everything needed for pipe fusion next to the fusion machine. On site, the device held a day’s worth of fusion work. The MegaMc PolyHorse held up to eight 50-foot sticks of 36-inch pipe on the rack system that feeds to a dispenser device, and finally, to the powered rollers. One of the rollers has a powered track system that feeds the pipe into the fusion machine, making the butt fusion set-up and operation easier on the operator. In tandem, the two powered rollers of the MegaMc PolyHorse help maneuver a stick of pipe up to 34 inches vertically and 24 inches laterally. The device is designed for 20- to 48-inch OD pipes.

Having the lengths of pipe sitting out in the pasture for extended amounts of time, some of the pipes became oval having lost their round shape. The MegaMc PolyHorse helped align these deformed pipes by rotating them in the tracked roller, creating an optimal angle for the pipe to enter the fusion machine to be faced off and to have an easy-to-find high/low before heating the pipe ends and joining. The rotation ability of the tracked roller was something that was discovered during testing.

PolyPro used a MegaMc 1648 rented from McElroy distributor Gajeske to fuse the 36-inch pipe together. PolyPro also had an Ingersol Rand Power Source G60 with Doosan G60 46KW generator.

The MegaMc 1648 butt fuses pipe sizes from 16-inch to 48-inch OD (450mm to 1,200mm). The growth of the water industry has fueled the demand for the 1648 for fusing water mains within the size range. The machine features four jaws, hydraulic clamping, a hydraulic pivoting heater and facer, dual hydraulic pipe lifts and DataLogger® capability.

McElroy pipe stands were used on the pull side of the fusion machine to help reduce wear and tear on the fusion machine.

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